After a splendid start, Atlanta right-hander Jair Jurrrjens has begun to cool. Jurrjens only lasted five innings as he lost his fourth game and is winless over his last four starts. Owners should remain diligent as he has been superb this season and may have just hit a rough patch.
Dan Uggla hit a pair of home runs against Washington as he continues to rebound from a terrible start. The Atlanta second baseman has now hit seven home runs and well over.300 since the All-Star break. He is worth targeting in a trade if you are able find a naïve owner.
Washington’s Rick Ankiel batted leadoff and hit two home runs as the Nationals knocked off Atlanta. Ankiel should only be considered in the deepest of leagues as this power stroke is not likely to continue.
Derrek Lee impressed his new Pittsburgh teammates with two home runs against his former club, the Chicago Cubs. The veteran slugger’s outlook improved slightly with a return to the National League Central. Lee hit six home runs in July and has begun August with a bang. He is a must-start in most leagues.
The Cleveland Indians’ bats were strong enough to knock off Boston. After accruing four wins in a row, John Lackey took another step back by allowing five runs in 6.2 innings.
Another solid game and vote for 2011 “Sleeper of the Season” candidate Asdrubal Cabrera, who recorded three hits, three runs, two home runs, and four runs batted in. He is having an absolute monster season and should be owned in every league.
Florida’s Mike Stanton hit a grand slam to record his 25th home run. The Marlins’ young slugger has improved nearly every month and may continue this trend through August.
Adam Dunn received the start at first base with Paul Konerko nursing an injured calf muscle. His struggles continued against southpaws as C.C. Sabathia struck him out three times. Dunn’s second half has shown no improvement thus far. Owners drafting him for 40 home runs are now just hoping for 20. He has been one of this season’s top fantasy busts.
After being roughed up in the first inning, Zack Greinke found his groove and won his ninth game with six innings pitched and five strikeouts. The Milwaukee ace has five quality starts in a row and become a very consistent started with an attractive strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Colorado starter Jhoulys Chacin had a forgettable July with no wins and major control issues. However, Chacin seemed on target against Philadelphia. Although he did not factor into the decision, he pitched 7.1 innings with one earned run, but only two strikeouts. This matchup appeared unfavorable for Chacin yet he performed well. He is worth starting in most leagues.
The Los Angeles Dodgers enjoyed another Clayton Kershaw gem. Kershaw continues to impress with a complete game victory over the San Diego Padres. He has now won seven of his last eight games and is making a strong bid for the NL Cy Young award.
Oakland’s Trevor Cahill was shelled by the Seattle Mariners for 12 hits and seven runs over four innings. Cahill was solid in the beginning of the season, but has been taking owners on a roller coaster ride since July. He is much more consistent at home and should be started based on matchup.
Ian Kennedy was victorious for his fifth game in a row as he threw eight innings with two earned runs, while fanning seven. Kennedy has been excellent this season and does not appear to be slowing down. His strikeout rate has also improved this season and has begun the post-All Star break even hotter.
In injury news, Boston starter Clay Buchholz has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back and may be done for the season. Although I would monitor this situation closely, Buchholz was transferred to the 60-day disabled list, which would be reason for dropping him.